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What is a Digital Product? Learn how to Create & Sell Them

what is a digital product

Although a “product” is popularly known as something physical that you can hold in your hands, it’s not quite the same when looking at a digital product. A digital product can be a variety of things but basically needs to be digital-based, not physical.

An encompassing definition is a product or service that has been digital-enabled and can be utilized by human beings. Others might say that it’s a product that is in digital form or a product sold online that lacks physical form.

A digital product has a variety of terms, sometimes known as a “Digital Asset” or “Digital Download”. The digital product is all about the value it delivers. As long as it’s in a digital form and offers value, it can be defined as a digital product.

A quick explanation of a digital product

A digital product is simply a non-physical asset or service that can be sold digitally. This means it cannot be a real-life product made of physical matter. Digital products include such things as – Software, Applications, eBooks, videos, photography, PDFs, Zip files, and much more.

Why trust what we say?

We created one of Shopify’s most trusted and established digital product apps. We have thousands of merchants from all over the world using our app to deliver their digital products, meaning we have a wide knowledge base of data for digital products around the world.

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Check out our digital product app and use it on your Shopify store.

Steps to create a digital product

Digital products always start from an idea. This follows different kinds of processes depending on what you’re offering to the user, but it always boils down to three steps.

Step 1 – Idea

You first have to come up with an idea and define the market to which you’ll be selling the idea. If not, you’ll have a product and no one to give it to. You can create a prototype to test the product against your target market during this step. It involves checking the buyer personas, including what they want and hate.

When starting, you must ensure you have a sellable digital product. Over the years, I’ve noticed that it’s all about the product. If you have a good one, you will sell it. If you don’t, it won’t, or at least it will not be sustainable.

If you can’t find any digital product ideas, check out this blog about 15 digital products to sell and how to sell them.

It could spark some ideas. I would suggest finding some passions that you like and writing them down. Take a look at them and think to yourself, what could I do to make doing these easier? It’s always best to come up with an idea for the subject you love.

Step 2 – Research & plan

Now that you have a prototype or idea, you need to base it on real-world data. This is where research comes in. Without knowing what the people want and giving it to them, you end up with an unmarketable product. So, set up a firm plan for your digital products and base it on research.

It will help if you find and understand who your customer is. Knowing who you want to sell it to will help you understand the marketing and potential scalability.

The main questions are:

  • Does it solve a problem?
  • Does it give the customer a benefit or convenience that is worth paying for?

If you say “yes” to any of those questions, then you have a sellable digital product.

Step 3 – Craft

Now, you can design your digital product. After you perform market research and find something that’s missing in an industry, you will be able to make a digital product.

I would advise you to get a digital product out as soon as possible to test the market. Even if it means that it is missing a few things, because digital products are easily updatable, especially with the DDA app, you can inform all previous customers about the new update with the click of a button.

One thing is, do not give up too soon! It’s not easy to suddenly start getting sales unless you’re really lucky. Things take time to mature and establish. Just keep working on it, and the sales will come.

Digital products you can sell online

Whether you’re selling PDFs on Shopify or selling downloads on Etsy, there are different types of products you can sell online. Selling PDFs is one of the most popular file types being sold in the world. You don’t have to build an entire set of software, website, or application before selling digital products online.

You can sell eBooks, videos, audio, graphics, photography, digital art, courses, documents, tickets, and even professional services. Take a look at this guide to get inspiration for digital products.

See our guide on the best-selling digital products.

Marketing digital products

Marketing is the key to selling your digital products. This works even for physical items. You will want to make sure you explore all options and test scenarios. Here are many that work well with digital products:

  • Meta ads
  • Google/YouTube ads
  • SEO
  • TikTok ads
  • Social media

Learn more about marketing from Shopify’s video below.

Where can I sell digital products?

There are a lot of marketplaces and platforms to sell digital products in this day of age. All of them have advantages and disadvantages, but ultimately it depends on your product and what you choose.

Shopify

This will help you build your own store and earn the most profits over any marketplace. You can learn how to sell digital products on Shopify here using our expert digital downloads app.

Take a look at how our app can deliver your digital downloads in the best way possible.

You can easily sell digital files of any type on Shopify. You just need to install our free-to-install app on your store – DDA.

dda digital assets

The only small downside to having a Shopify store is that you are in control of your own traffic, meaning there’s no search volume unless you work on SEO, social or ads. But in my opinion, the pros outway the cons here by far. Shopify is the best place to sell your digital products.

Marketplaces have the advantage over this by giving you instant potential traffic, but it comes at a high cost. All marketplaces take large commission fees and don’t let you have control over the platform. Your profile is just rented space meaning you cannot customise your pages completely.

They have their own rules, they take large commissions, sometimes up to 50% (like Envato, terrible), they can remove you if you fail to abide by their rules and much more. If you have your own store, you are in full control.

Check out the article from Teckers on the best digital downloads apps.

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Etsy

Etsy is a huge marketplace, well known for vendors selling custom-made products. They allow you to sell digital products on here too, but you can only sell digital products under 20MB of file size. This is what you need to deal with on marketplaces like Etsy.

Shopify is a much better option to own your own digital real estate and be in full control of payments, marketing, and customer control.

What are the digital touchpoints?

When creating a digital product, you aim to set a service or product touchpoints. This is the interface where the user interacts with the product. The two most popular types of touchpoints are web and mobile, as these are two main ways we can access a digital product.

But, many platforms can operate on both touchpoints. You can have the Instagram website and the mobile app, offering the same product and similar functionality. Today, digital touchpoints are moving towards conversational interfaces like smart speaker devices and virtual assistants.

Last take

Digital products continue to evolve continuously as you update them and learn more about consumers’ needs and wants. It’s not like a physical product that is shipped involving many more costs and problems in the workflow.

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